Sorry

Generally, people have no idea that I have autism if I don’t tell them. They just think I’m an asshole. Things that disgust or offend normal people are normal topics of conversation for people with asperger’s. There is a time and place in society to be honest, and our standards of when to be brutually honest and when to sugarcoat the truth is vastly different than yours. This often comes off as aggressive, cruel, or hostile. The truth is I don’t want to offend or hurt people, it just isn’t as easy for me to understand what will. Normal people can simply use empathy: what offends and hurts them will offend and hurt others. People with Asperger’s have vastly different emotional landscapes and personal preferences, we aren’t offended or offput by brutal honesty so assume you aren’t either. That doesn’t mean we aren’t tolerant of your perspective. I try my best to understand it. We aren’t broken necessarily, we just have a different perspective on life. People with Asperger’s generally have the same emotional spectrum as non autistic people, we just feel those emotions under different contexts. Things that are interesting to non autistic people like pop culture or sports, are as boring and silly to me as counting rocks. Things commonly discussed are intensely boring to me. I don’t care what we will eat for dinner. I don’t care that it’s my birthday. I don’t care what sports team won. I don’t care what your age is, what your favorite food is, what your favorite colour is, favorite animal, where you went on vacation. I don’t even enjoy vacations, I get nothing out of them. 80% of conversational topics people find interesting I find boring. The flip side is true as well, things I’m interested in bore most people. I’m usually more fascinated in calculating the exact volume of strange shaped rocks than listening to anecdotes about travel plans. This sort of behavior is usually amusing or at least endearing to most people. Unfortunately, it makes it difficult to form bonds and connections. Autistic people are stranded on an island of flesh. We can’t do something as commonplace as shop for groceries without people looking at us strangely and mocking us. We are shunned, exiled, bullied, anything to drive us away. You know what, I don’t really blame people for being offput by me. It’s not their fault that they feel uncomfortable around me. I try my best to not scare people or make them angry, but if you feel uncomfortable you feel uncomfortable. It isn’t your fault. Not really mine either, but I guess that doesn’t matter much. I naturally gravitate towards compassionate and patient people. First off because I am very compassionate in my own asperger’sy sort of way. More importantly compassionate and kind people usually tolerate me the longest before shunning me. They usually shun me in a kinder sort of way as well. I feel bad that the burden of dealing with offputting people always has to fall on them and I usually try to spare them that.
Your parents tell you as a kid that it’s not your fault you are being bullied or shunned, that the other kids are just jerks. Sometimes when a few people are kind to me, I think they might be right. Maybe they are just assholes and there is some sort of niche for me out there. Then you get hit by one of those watershed moments throughout life that force you to see that you are broken and abnormal. Sometimes you just look back on a trove of memories and notice that there is that same uneasy look in the eyes of everyone you try to talk to. You wonder why so many people are immediately so hostile towards you. You realize you really don’t have any freinds no matter where you go, just people that are too nice to say that they aren’t your freind. Even your parents think you’re a bad kid, and your teachers don’t know what to do with you. You don’t know what’s wrong with you, but you do know that there is something wrong with you. Every conversation is just counting down the time until I say something inappropriate. Every smile or laugh is just a moment of joy I will undo. I can’t communicate, my thoughts are stranded in me, and that’s a miserable place to be. My thoughts and my words are totally disconnected.

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4 thoughts on “Sorry

  1. i truly feel you are selling yourself and others short. i think we all have been hurt or dumped by friends. don’t let past experiences mold you or make you bitter. you will find people that will be honest and like you for yourself. give yourself time to find peace and be comfortable with who you are.

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    1. I’m sure I am selling them at least a little short in actuality. But I have been telling myself things like that for 25 years. Every positive affirmation and hopeful adage you can think of I said to myself in the mirror at least one morning of my life. Hope can only fight so much against empirics.

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  2. The main thing is recognizing your situation and dealing with it, which you are doing and I commend you for that. I am sure the professionals can give you techniques to learn how to behave appropriately in social settings. It will take time to adapt but I know you can do it. I don’t think people are bored with you as much as they can’t grasp the concepts you are discussing, there is a difference so don’t take that personally. It is embarrassing for some people to say, “I have no idea about that subject etc…” or follow the complex concepts you are discussing. I know, I have said it to you more than a few times. Just know that you have problems but you also have a lot to offer. Just keep working at it!

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    1. A lot of it is just in my head. Some of it is just people being cruel. The thing is I’m very high functioning, I know the social protocol and I’m fine in conversation. It’s more subtle, people just see me as a little off. I see myself as a little bit off. It’s torture to not be able to trust your own brain. Honestly, it doesn’t matter why. I’ve lost too much because of it. My life is too hollow because of it.

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